From My Sketchbook #1

So, in addition to writing lately I’ve also been drawing. I’m constantly trying to improve my art and develop a unique drawing style, and the only way I know how is to practice. It’s not easy finding time to draw, but I make an conscious effort to sketch at least every few days.

Here are some random drawings from my sketchbook:

magic-girl-marker

a character of mine that has magical powers

pink-planet-blurred

Michael the astronaut on a pink planet

random-girl-sketch

random sketch

life-is-strange-fanart-max

fanart of Max Caulfield from the game Life is Strange

That’s all for now. I hope you all have a great week!

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Craziness

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last blog post. I’ve been super busy lately with the graphic novel, outside work, and general life. Not to mention a whole barrage of new distractions- tumblr, instagram, etc. I really need to start putting my phone away.

Anyway, many things have happened since my last post:

1. I Sketched 68 Pages of Solstice

Nope, it’s not finished yet. I have to get there soon because I’m really running out of time. Being a procrastination god does have its faults.

2. I Got 100 Followers

Yippee! That makes me really happy. I can’t believe even one person wants to hear me rattle on about my current obsession. Thanks. I really appreciate it. 🙂

3. I Sketched Characters

Hawk Sketch

This is Hawk. She’s the tough, bossy type.

Bear Sketch

This is Bear. He’s not cut out for the wild life. Too soft and squishable.

4. I Visited Cape Cod

It was beautiful but cold. I’ve decided that when I retire I’ll buy a tiny cottage near a lighthouse there, wear shoes with holes in them and a sunhat, and paint all day on the beach, my untamed white hair blowing in the breeze.

cape cod dock

5. I Bought a Guitar

I randomly fell in love with folk music (by Jose Gonzalez and Syd Matters) and now I quest to learn how to play it. It’s actually really relaxing. The first song I learned was Obstacles by Syd Matters.

my guitar

There you have it- random craziness at it’s best. There’ll be more next time. 😀

Moving Along

You know that big goal I set for myself- to finish thumbnail sketches for Solstice? Well, it didn’t quite work out  (surprise, surprise). Normally I’d be pretty disappointed, but in this case I’m still happy because I’m making progress. And I consider any progress at all to be a great thing.

So far I have sketched 34 pages of thumbnails. It seems like a lot but I think I have a long way to go considering I’m not even through half of the script.

solstice sketch binder

Yes, it’s a mini binder. Shhh- I know I have a problem. It’s just so cute and easy to organize. I even found these little plastic page holder things that perfectly fit my half-page sketches. It’s great because I can rearrange pages, re-edit them, and see how the book is going to read.
solstice sketch binder 2

solstice thumbnail sketch p 22

A couple of surprises I hadn’t accounted for made it harder to fulfill my goal of completing all of the thumbnail sketches for Solstice by yesterday (which I think was pretty insane to begin with):

  1. The tire of our car popped
  2. I misjudged how many sketch pages my script would create
  3. I misjudged how much time I really had (I always do that when traveling)

My goal for now is to just keep moving. 🙂 Hopefully next time I’ll have a more exciting update.

In the meantime, please enjoy some random nature sketches XD :

solstice nature sketching 3

Experimenting Some More

I’m still working out the text for Solstice, but I wanted to see what a finished page would look like, so I tried drawing one. It’ll also help me see how I need to schedule my time, as I don’t have a lot of it!

I’m pretty sure I’ll create the art digitally, with a program called Paint Tool Sai and a tablet. I think it will be easier in the long run because I won’t have to scan pages and format them. I can also fix mistakes a lot more quickly. (I’m sure I’ll make a lot of them). But that’s all part of experimenting- getting out all the kinks before creating finished pieces.

Speaking of, I ran into a problem while coloring the page. The line art/drawing part of it turned out okay but then I tried coloring it and it looked clashing.

Here’s what I mean:

I mean, everything’s the color it’s supposed to be (kind of). The sky is blue, the trees are green, and the sun is yellow, but they just don’t look good. It might work for some art pieces, but the look I was going for was more natural and easy on the eyes. I figured out what the problem was after doing a bit of research and observing other artists’ work- my color scheme wasn’t unified. The colors had nothing in common, so they didn’t fit together well.

So I tried editing the page (taking the easy way out):
Solstice practice sketch 1 edit 2

It didn’t exactly work out either. The whiteness of the page changed!

Finally I sat down and colored the whole thing again, this time making a palette of sorts on the side of the page and adding a little bit of orange to each color:

Solstice practice sketch 3

oh no I spelled except wrong!

I think it worked out much better. Fox’s hair kind of blends in with the background and the value (lights and darks) is a little wonky, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m glad I took the time to figure this out. Hopefully the whole process will go faster in the future.

This page is just an experiment. The story will deal with a similar sense of loneliness, but I’ll have to see what format and words it calls for when I reach this point.

Remember how I changed the story? Well I tried making a synopsis to get it straight in my head. Here goes:

A boy named Fox happens upon a group of children celebrating the summer solstice after waking in a forest with no memory. After one child claims to have seen a shadow-beast lurking around the camp during the night, the group realizes that the forest may hold hidden dangers. The leader of the group, a girl called Hawk, organizes a scouting group and recruits Fox to join and explore the forest surrounding the camp. As they watch out for the mysterious shadow-creature and run out of food, tensions run high. They soon realize that the greatest threat to their delicate society may not exist in the forest outside, but within themselves.

So it’s going to be kind of like a Lord of the Flies story set in the North American wilderness with folk elements mixed in there. I love dark and eerie stories, so I wanted to make my own. I’m just happy that I get to draw trees and stuff. 🙂

Experimenting

So I’ve done some more work on Solstice and even started thumbnail sketches within the deadline I set. I didn’t finish the written script, though. I couldn’t keep going without some idea of what the story was going to look like on the paper. It was getting really hard for me to visualize everything while writing.

Here are some pictures of the pages that are pretty legible:

They don’t really count as thumbnail sketches because they’re so detailed, but I figured you’d rather see them than badly drawn boxes and stick-figures. I don’t know what size the book will be yet but I figured that a piece of copy paper folded in half was a good enough measurement to start with.

Turns out starting thumbnail sketches without finishing the script was a good idea. The story has changed. Again. It feels like it’s been through at least fifty different changes, but I found a storyline that I like a bit better than the previous one so I have to rewrite part of the script. That’s okay, because I know the end product will be better now! It’s good the changes are coming out before I do anything drastic.

As I was sketching thumbnails, it occurred to me how important they were to the creation of a graphic novel/comic. They help lay important groundwork that’s otherwise just swimming around in my head. They also get the major issues out of the story before I work on the minor ones, making it easier in the long run.

With that, I’ll present a random front-page/cover idea that I couldn’t resist developing:

solstice cover idea

Like I said- just an idea. (It’s supposed to be an animal made out of little trees and stuff, by the way). It looks a little too scary and demon-ish to me right now, but who knows? Maybe after I get the story done It’ll be fitting. The book is going to play with the idea of nature’s dark side.

My plan for now is to keep developing the story while working on the script and sketching thumbnails and character reference sheets. So basically doing everything at once. Yeah, this plan isn’t going to end horribly or anything.